September is Gynaecological Cancer Awareness Month. At the AGCF, we want to encourage everyone (not just women!) to learn more about gynaecological cancers, the signs and symptoms, where to get support and how you can help us fund research that will save lives.
About gynaecological cancers
Every two hours an Australian woman is diagnosed with a gynaecological cancer. These are cancers that involve the female reproductive organs – the vulva, vagina, cervix, uterus, fallopian tubes, ovaries and placenta.
The most common gynae cancer is uterine or endometrial cancer. In 2020, the estimated number of new cases diagnosed in Australia was 3,224 women. The second most common is ovarian cancer, which is often referred to as the silent killer as there are often no symptoms of the disease until it is at an advanced stage.
Gynaecological cancers are not spoken about as much as many other diseases, but that doesn’t mean they are rare. Rather, the lifetime risk of a woman developing a gynae cancer is 1 in 20. Sadly, there is currently only a 68% chance of survival. These cancers carry an unacceptably high mortality rate that we must try and reduce with the best scientific research possible.
Early detection is vital
Most gynaecological cancers can be difficult to detect. It’s important that women look out for any unusual changes with their bodies. Symptoms can include:
- Unusual vaginal bleeding between periods, after menopause or during/after sexual intercourse
- Abdominal pain
- Unexplained weight loss
- Difficulty urinating
- Blood in urine
- Changes to frequency of urination or bowel movements
There is help available
Any woman with a gynaecological cancer – or if you are worried that you may be experiencing symptoms – should consult with their doctor and a gynaecological oncologist. All treatment choices are guided by expert advice, given by specialists who work together in a multidisciplinary team focused on supporting you.
The specific treatment recommendations will be discussed with you and your close supporters in extended counselling sessions by the relevant medical and nursing experts. Results of treatment for gynaecological cancer in Australia are comparable with the best in the world.
Funding research will save lives
The Australian Gynaecological Cancer Foundation funds research for a brighter future. We are the only Australian foundation focused purely on funding laboratory research into all gynaecological cancers. By providing research grants to Australia’s best and brightest minds, we will find new ways to screen, treat and conquer gynae cancers.
All profits from fundraising initiatives and all monies raised from donations go towards the AGCF research grant program, which funds brilliant minds that are focused on conquering gynae cancers. Each $110,000 raised will fund a grant for an early post-PhD scientist for one year.DONATE
In memory of our loved ones
This Gynaecological Cancer Awareness month we want to take a moment to remember all the incredible women we have sadly lost. We honour their lives, their memory and their beautiful friends and family who continue the fight to conquer gynae cancers.